How hackers made my day…

Something very fishy was happening with my yahoo email account…..  My phone kept showing “incorrect password… verification failed”  over – and  over- and over – …


I don’t consider myself easily alarmed so this sort of thing frightened me a little.  I went to the setting on my phone and erased my yahoo account from there.  I guess I thought it was just the phone access point that hackers were trying to breach.

Ohhhhh –  how wrong was I….     password

So needless to say, about a month later – just long enough for whomever to run their non-stop cryptography programs – EVERYONE in my yahoo address book received an email which described me as robbed and stranded in Kasigstan or Stochlinoyevski

or Kiev,                       tanks


needing $2,750.20.  Now, trust me, it’s not that I don’t want to visit what are probably utterly beautiful and exotic (for me) lands, far far away.

kiev cycles


BUT… I’m not there right now, and I wasn’t then.  No one robbed me, or kidnapped me and I don’t know why I would need the extra 0.20 cents,

flying dollarsthough I’m reasonably certain I could find a way to put the $2,750 to good use……….

Truly worse than the email was the outcome of the hackers stealing my entire address book, my “sent” files, and basically rendering my email useless.  I was incapable of not only warning everyone but I also was no longer receiving emails or able to operate from the program at all.  I was lost in an strange universe.  A dimension unknown to me…

alien world  or perhaps just a part of south Florida I had not yet visited….

Fortunately my back up email was untouched and I quickly changed the passwords to every account I own.  Which – by the way – needs to be over 15 characters long, include one or more capitals, make a few of them numbers, at least one unusual character, no spaces… in case you’re interested in protecting your own email (and other) accounts.


I don’t know what other fallout there will be from the incident, but if I may say, the violation, embarrassment and frustration I felt couldn’t come close to the amazing recognition and awareness of my friendships!!!  I must have received what seemed like HUNDREDS of phone calls, texts and one-on-one warnings that my email was compromised and that they would still be happy to help me out if I were in fact in Kiev and in trouble….


I can’t tell you how uplifting it is to have a hacker poll your address book and tell you who your friends are….

Thanks everyone,

(Not…) From Russia with Love,

!FR001EH Film From Russia With Love


About michellenihei

Bachelor of Science, University of Saskatchewan Diplomate in Veterinary Science, University of Saskatchewan Master of Science, University of Saskatchewan Doctor of Philosophy, University of Kentucky Post-Doctoral and Jr. Faculty, Johns Hopkins University, MD Assistant trainer to Christopher Speckert, Rebecca Maker, Todd Pletcher Independent business owner and racehorse trainer; StabelLab Evangelist
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4 Responses to How hackers made my day…

  1. tom says:

    I got the Kiev e-mail on7/31 but had seen you in Saratoga….did the hackers also infect any of your contacts? did you keep Ashado in your handle?

    • yes…sorry about that…. no one I know or have email addresses for has mentioned being hacked, nor have I received any Kiev-related emails for anyone else so, not that I know of. Handle is same except now a gmail address.

  2. Amy Gill says:

    Crazy stuff but I love your blog post….made me chuckle..

  3. I admire your way of looking at the situation! I’m glad you were able to get everything sorted out. I’ve only ever had one e-mail address get hacked. I don’t really know what happened to that account. Somewhere out there is a ‘Nigerian Prince’ pretending to be me, I’m sure.

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